Double Overtime thriller at the Pavilions

Double Overtime thriller at the Pavilions

Despite a great performance at the weekend, the Plymouth City Patriots came up agonisingly short against a Leicester Riders team that simply wouldn't quit.

It was the usual carnival atmosphere inside Pavilions, with the added bonus for supporters who were treated to the Plymouth Varsity Day basketball games prior to the Patriots tip off. Marjons and Plymouth Universities went head to head earlier in the afternoon in front of an expectant crowd, with Marjons taking the spoils in both the women's and men's matches. The main event began shortly after, and the crowd were in for a classic.

It has been a challenging season at best for the Patriots, who have certainly had their struggles, with high points being at a minimum. With the chance of making the playoffs a distant memory, the team is perhaps now focused solely on entertaining their adoring crowd. And entertain them, they did. 

The home team led their Leicester rivals from the opening tip off and always managed to stay one step ahead of the Riders, former league champions. An inspired performance from Jules Dang-Akodo helped their cause, giving the Patriots 14-points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Spencer Levi also impressed with a hard fought double double, consisting of 11-points and 14 rebounds. Captain Elvisi Dusha gave a solid performance, pouring in 17 points and 8 rebounds, including some big three pointers down the stretch and Cameron Copeland poured in 18-points off the bench.

However, the Riders, with their sharp shooting and never say die attitude, managed to turn around a 6-point deficit both at the end of the fourth quarter and in the first period of overtime, to drag the game into double overtime. Despite a fantastic performance from Patriots All Star TJ Atwood, who played forty six and a half minutes scoring 32-points and grabbing 8 rebounds whilst leading the game in index with 38, the home side ran out of steam in the second period of overtime. The Riders didn't miss from the three point line, and pulled away from the despondent Patriots, who looked to be in control throughout the entire game, taking it 121-111.

Watch game and player highlights here.

“We played some great basketball tonight and I find it hard to fault the guys,” started Head Coach Paul James in his post-game interview. He continued “I thought we controlled the tempo for the majority and looked good for the win. But, you know, there's only so much you can do against the Riders, especially when they shoot the ball like that.”

There are only four home games left this season for the Patriots, who face the Cheshire Phoenix next weekend in Pavilions. Tickets can still be found here.

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